Phonological awareness includes understanding that spoken words are made up of syllables and sounds that we can separate and blend, that some words start with the same sound, and that some words rhyme.

How can I help?

  • Count syllables in words.
    • Look for pictures in magazines and books or objects around the house that have the same number of syllables as your child’s name. For example, Tyler has two syllables: Ty . . ler, just like car. . rot. Sort pictures by the number of syllables they have and create a syllable poster.
  • Practice with rhyming words.
    • Gather three objects or pictures that rhyme and another object or picture that does not rhyme. Display the objects or pictures and say their name, for example: “cat, hat, bat, dog - which one doesn’t rhyme?” Practice with more pictures and objects and then place them all in a basket and have your child sort the picture and objects that rhyme together into different piles.
  • Emphasize beginning sounds.
    • Before reading a book decide on a letter sound that you want your child to listen for throughout the story. (You will want to preview the story and make sure the letter is used several times throughout the story.) Say the letter sound several times and have your child repeat the sound. As you read the story, have your child clap every time he or she hears you say the letter sound.
  • Blend sounds in words together.
    • Play “I spy” with a twist. Choose an object that you see and make each sound of the word. See if your child can guess its name. For example you might make the sounds for leaf by saying just the sounds like this: "I spy with my little eye a /lll/ /ēēē/ /fff/. What’s my word?"